National Fisherman


April 1 is the official start to the blue crab harvest in Maryland. But don't reach for your mallet just yet.

"It's not time for crabs," said Jessica Borowski, a manager at Midtown BBQ and Brew. "It's too cold out."

The crabs seem to agree. The Chesapeake Bay's water temperature hasn't risen enough for the crabs to become active — and catchable.

Consumers set on Maryland crabs will see limited availability for now — and prices to match.

Prices for Chesapeake Bay crabs are typically high at the start of the season, and people who want them in April will have to pay even more than usual. But many consumers are just as happy eating hard-shell crabs from the Gulf Coast — where many local crab houses get their supplies throughout the year — and won't see a price fluctuation.

For now, from Turkey Point to Tangier Sound, the beautiful swimmer, Callinectes sapidus, isn't swimming. Instead of moving to shallower waters where crabbers can catch them, they're staying warm deep in their muddy homes. This year temperatures in the bay for late March were slightly below the historic average for the month — but not dramatically so. It only seems that way compared to last year, when average March water temperatures were unusually high.

Read the full story at the Baltimore Sun>>

Inside the Industry

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

Read more...

Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

Read more...
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